13 August 2013

Calculate Linux Desktop 13.6.1 XFCE Review : Ok ,Stable and beautiful distribution

Calculate Linux is based on Gentoo that is well known for its stability and great performance on a broad range of hardware  from Pentium Pro to modern CPUs.

The Calculate project features several distributions, optimized for two distinct groups of people: home users as well as small and medium businesses that prefer open-source to proprietary solutions.Calculate Linux Desktop is a complementary solution for the Server .Calculate Directory Server can successfully replace a Windows NT ® domain controller and provides additional services that can be deployed in a matter of minutes: LDAP, Mail, Jabber and many others.

This review focuses on the desktop edition XFCE, which comes preloaded either with KDE, GNOME or XFCE. I’ve downloaded the XFCE live DVD edition which is around 1.6GB.The live DVD offers options to boot using the default settings, using only RAM, without GUI { referred as ‘No-X’ rather than something like ‘No GUI ‘}, and Live DVD builder. A help message for each for these options will enhance the  overall user experience .Here calculate linux comes with linux kernel 3.9.6 and XFCE 4.10.2.

The installaler of the distro is inbuilt as  part of the ‘Calculate Utilities’ which  are custom developed

.First you have to select uor language and then press next.

Then what image  to install and at last where to install the system also advanced mode provided for buisness users but installer seem confusing it doesn't showed me hard disk space capacity only it showed were to install option then option choosen it shows info of hard disk which is parted .

The boot loader can also change the language, key map, time zone as well as video driver. You can choose from Intel, AMD, NVIDIA and fallback mesa drivers. This is a nice feature to have in distro .The next step involves configurations related to Network which also has an option to select ‘Network Manager’ which is again more towards business users. 

 The user configuration was the trickiest part as this step involved selecting the Groups the user belongs to. I was not sure if I need to select all the groups that were already available to the default ‘guest’ user, to have a successful desktop experience.

Then  a chart of configured stuff is displayed and then by pressing next installation process starts  involves configuring the video card.

After this a summary of all the configuration selections were shown in a neat way and once confirmed the installation started

 The progress of each step was shown and once all these were complete

Actually it took me around 4 mins to install the distro on hard disk .


The artists have done a great job in this area such as boot themes, login screen, desktop theme, wallpaper.  Font rendering is very good and the distro looks pleasing to the eyes .


**GRAPHIC: Doc viewer ,geequie, Gimp ,Gtkam ,Shotwell.
**INTERNET : Chromium, Deluge , Filezilla , HEXchat ,Liferea, Pidgin ,Reminna
**Multimedia : Audacious ,Smplayer ,Skype ,xfburn
**OFFICE: Libre office, claws mail ,Fbreader
**System : gparted, htop , Task manager ,terminal , calculate console .etc.

The default email client available is claws mail but u can find other in repos .

Actually its xfce setting manager by which settings of the system can be controlled .

Theme of Thunar file manager in calculate xfce desktop .

Application like Geequie for photo viewing.

Also skype provided by default .

Libre office version is somewhat  old ie libreoffice 3.0 .LibreOffice productivity suite is installed for us alongside the Okular document viewer

Application wise it is having healthy list of course firefox browser preinstalled but if you need chromium or other browser  it can be found in repos . I didn’t had any issue when going through Indian language websites as I could easily read it which I was not able to do it  in Rosa desktop fresh which I reviewed earlier .It played youtube video nicely as flash pre installed .
Actually it comes with  SM player so look how media plays in default media player.

Actually all apps are choosen very refinedly and it  doesnt clutter with unnesseary stuff so keeping it minimal and providing a complete working desktop environment .Actual performance of cpu while updating distro. Performance wise it consumes 350 mb  ram actually nothing running in background . I couldn't show that actually screenshot didn't worked for me after installation of distro on hdd.


Bluetooth ,Wifi  , sound card ,graphic card etc worked well within my use for days and seems it doesnt have  well configured hardware integration for use .but on my dell laptop had an issue it doesn't detected my touchpad so had to navigate through mouse even in settings i tried to change but everything was pain for me.

Control Center : Calculate console

The business approach led by CLD  nesseciates must security certificate to use this application. For an average desktop user, this will be new and difficult to use . Though the process is straight forward, this may not appeal the Linux beginners .CLD has ‘cl-console-gui’ as the place from where the system settings can be managed. . The Calculate Tools Guide will help the user to get started and I had to spend some time to get the certificate to get the configuration tool working. I was looking forward to explore Calculate Console utility which allows us to manipulate aspects of the local machine so it can be connected to manage remotely and console has friendly interface Actually I didnt tried the stuff deeply as had issues here n there .

Package management is one of the most important aspect which decides the usability of a distribution and CLD sticks with its parent’s proven ‘portage’ for package management. Calculate Linux uses the emerge command line utility to handle software packages. The tool is flexible and allows users to work with either pre-built binary packages or we can compile software from source packages. I performed software upgrades and added new software to the system using emerge and found it worked well. I found that emerge was quite a bit slower than its APT and YUM counterparts,Users who are familiar with Gentoo package management will feel at home but for others like me, the available documentation helps you to find the needed stuff You want .


Actually speaking this distro was very hard to use brightness and volume keys were not working for me had to take time to set it but till doesn't understood ? my lap touchpad was not working efficiently. Calculate and my  dell laptop were not a good match however there were several small problems here and there and no  outstanding feature and it  makes me reluctant to recommend this distribution to new users .And also combined with the unusual installer and its strange approach to both partitioning and display configuration, gave a bad impression. The distribution took over ten  minutes to boot and applications took a surprisingly long time to open.When I tried running Calculate Linux on my desktop box I had trouble getting the distribution to boot. Calculate offers a stable, elegant and beautiful looking desktop distribution. This distribution may not be suited for Linux beginners as it lacks gui tools for package management  but CLD is definitely a great place to start with for those who want to use a Gentoo based distribution. The custom tools that are written for CLD works very well.  For users with good Linux experience, CLD provides a stable Linux desktop experience.The documentation provided  by community  was great considering the fact that this distribution is Russian based and  English forums have some good activity and the reply seems to be fast .

Caution : Not for begineers but intermediate  and advanced users 

U can try it using ,

Imagewriter , Note- unetbootin didn't worked for me .


If you have any issue just visit their forum you will get answered to all your queries .


you can download both 32bit n 64 bit  calculate 13.6 XFCE desktop from here


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